Registered Nurses at Doctors Medical Center To Begin ‘Open-Ended’ Strike Today
About 450 registered nurses at Doctors Medical Center, which has facilities in San Pablo and Pinole, planned to strike today at 7:30 a.m. after negotiations on a contract agreement failed, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2). The California Nurses Association, which represents the nurses, and Tenet Healthcare, which owns the Doctors facilities, began contract negotiations on Aug. 31, when the nurses' contract expired, but the discussions ended without an agreement on Oct. 22. The nurses have asked for a pension plan in which the hospital contributes 5% of nurses' incomes and for subsidized health benefits for retired nurses (California Healthline, 10/24). Doctors and CNA officials have scheduled no additional mediation or negotiation sessions, and union officials called the strike "open-ended," the Chronicle reports (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2). "The strike will last indefinitely, until the parties reach a resolution," CNA negotiator Corinne Comer said (Contra Costa Times, 11/3). Doctors spokesperson Michel Burleson said the affected facilities will remain open and will hire temporary nurses for the duration of the strike. "We will be fully staffed on Monday. No elective procedures will be canceled; our emergency room will be open. We will be operating as usual," Burleson said (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2). CNA spokesperson Charles Idelson said that the union has asked area residents to use other hospitals for the duration of the strike (Lochner, Contra Costa Times, 11/4).
In related news, about 450 service and technical workers at Sutter Roseville Medical Center said Friday they will strike for one day on Nov. 14 without an agreement on a new contract, the Sacramento Bee reports. Negotiations between the workers, represented by Service Employees International Union Local 250, and the hospital on Oct. 18 began negotiations on a contract scheduled to expire Saturday and later extended to Nov. 13 (Rapaport, Sacramento Bee, 11/2). Hospital officials and union representatives have disagreed over salary increases and health benefits (California Healthline, 11/1). Union and hospital officials have scheduled four additional negotiation sessions before the strike date, the Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 11/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.